In all the projects I work on as a digital marketing expert, nothing excites business owners in the same way as launching a new website. The face of your brand and company is about to make it’s debut online, and it’s thrilling to see this step in your business growth come to fruition. But website launches require dedicated work and careful planning. Make even one mistake and you could ruin your first impression – and you don’t get a second chance at that. So here I’m going to show you how you can avoid the most common mistakes to pull off a perfect website launch.
1. URLs Aren’t Optimized
The URLs for your new site need to be correct and point to the right pages. Those pages also need to still exist on your new website! Clear, succinct URLs on your new site will not only be more appealing to visitors, they will make more sense to search engines that index them too. URLs should follow naming conventions and be clear and specific. It’s also important to remember to convert all staging URLs to live URLs before the launch if you are using a staging site.
2. Links Get Broken
If you are upgrading or transferring an existing website, you want to make sure that you find a way to redirect old URLs to your new site. Links to your old site may already exist on different pages and sites across the web. Suddenly having a bunch of broken links when you change sites can negatively impact your SEO.
3. No SSL Certificate
SSL certificates establish an encrypted connection between a server and a client and are standard security protocol for online interactions. Obtaining and installing an SSL certificates takes time – developers need to submit a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) and these can take a few days to process. Once the unique code is received, it needs to be installed into the new site’s server and tested. If you leave this process until your launch date, you’re not going to have an SSL certificate for your launch, so plan accordingly.
4. Styles Aren’t Tweaked
As a web designer I know that style will not fit uniformly across every page template. Each page needs its own styling tweaks to display correctly. By working with a skilled web designer and building a staging site, you can ensure styles match and everything looks as it should before you launch.
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5. You Haven’t Removed “Noindex” Codes
When a site is being built, it’s standard to add “noindex codes” as HTML meta tags to stop search engines indexing a page until you’re ready for the world to see it. But once it comes time to launch, you want to ensure all “noindex” codes are removed so that search engines index your pages, your SEO efforts work, and your site is easier to find.
6. No Ongoing Support or Troubleshooting
Don’t budget to only have your web building and design team work with you up to the launch date! And don’t think that once you’ve launched it’s time to take a break either. Your website launch is when potential bugs and issues are going to make themselves known, so you need a support team on board and paying attention to troubleshoot any problems that arise.
I know how a successful website launch can really change the trajectory of a business – and professional web design and planning is what can make that happen. Be sure your website is ready to ‘wow’ your customers when you go live by avoiding these common launch mishaps and mistakes.